As we head into summer, and the days get longer and warmer, we can’t help but think about where to go for vacation.

Before you go packing up the minivan and heading into the sunset, there are a few things to look for to make sure you’re headed to the right place:

  • Are there lifeguards on duty?
  • Plenty of kid-friendly bathrooms?
  • A good variety of local attractions nearby?
  • Are there family-friendly restaurants nearby?

For an amazing trip everyone can enjoy:

  • Take it slow. Kids are known dilly-dalliers. Everything will take longer than expected.
  • Keep ‘em comfy! An uncomfortable kid is a whiny, unhappy kid. #keepthepeace.
  • Snacks, snacks and more snacks!
  • Wear sunscreen. Whether it’s the beach, the ballpark or an amusement park, be sure to slather it on your kids (and yourself) before heading out and at least every 2 hours.

Whether it’s the best, most perfect sand castle you’re hoping to build, or catching a few waves, or just some fun in the sun, family-style, here are some of the top beach destinations, according to Family Vacation Critic. Some great spots from coast-to-coast!